Hiwa K describes the anecdotal inspirations behind his work in in this preview of the upcoming “Berlin” episode from Season 9 of the “Art in the Twenty-First Century” television series.
Shown at work installing “My Father’s Colour Period” (2013), the artist recalls the memory associated with the work. “Color TVs didn’t come to Kurdistan because the government is not investing in those minority areas,” says the artist. “So my father was putting color foil on the TV. It’s a very silent protest.”
Hiwa K was born in Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan, Iraq, in 1975. His sculptures, videos, and performances slyly weave together anecdotes from friends and family members with his biography. As a Kurdish Iraqi and immigrant to Germany, Hiwa K draws from personal memories to tell stories of our ongoing global crises: war, migration, and the effects of neoliberalism and colonialism. Documenting with video, the artist inserts himself into his works, which often involve participatory dimensions (such as group cooking classes, musical performances, and political protests) and collaborations with a wide cast of players, from Iraqi philosophers to Venetian metal casters. Largely self-taught, his multidisciplinary approach draws upon his peer-to-peer education in Iraq as well as his musical training under the Flamenco master, Paco Peña.
Learn more about the artist at:
“Berlin” from Season 9 of “Art in the Twenty-First Century” premieres September 21 at 10:00 p.m. on PBS.
Learn more about the new season at: